Grace: To sense more deeply the possibility of deep renewal and reform in my life and the desire in God’s heart for that renewal in me.
Text for Prayer: Lk. 9:23-36
Reflection: Over the last few weeks I have given a couple of retreats that dealt in some ways with discernment. During these retreats, I had the opportunity to chat with most of the participants. Many of them pointed out that in terms of remaining faithful to their prayer life, they sometimes lack discipline and willpower, and I often acknowledged that discipline is a great avenue to renewal and reform.
Certainly discipline is an important part of discipleship. Both of those words, along with the word discernment come for the Latin word discere which means to learn. To grow as a disciple—in discipleship and discernment—we need to learn or to discover life-giving ways of finding the strength to remain faithful and committed to them.
Discipline comes with practice and desire to grow. When we have an encounter with the Crucified and Risen Lord, our hearts long for the vitality that will help us to be disciples. As we journey forward, we are exposed to many experiences, and we discover what works well and what does not. In that process, we develop the ability to judge well what sorts of things are life-giving and help us to grow. Sometimes we work this out through trial and error, by listening to the experiences of others, or by the insights and graces we receive in prayer.
In my own journey, there are a few things which have helped me to become more disciplined. Don’t get me wrong, I am not the poster-boy for discipline or discipleship, but I keep trying. I keep trying because I am hungry for more. I want to live life in abundance, as God invites us all to live it. So allow me to share a few of the things I have learned thus far about acquiring discipline and strengthening my own willpower for God’s service:
Christ invites us to grow in discipline, to discover new ways to live our life of discipleship. As we encounter him in daily life, our hearts will burn with passion, and that passion will renew us and give us the strength to reform our lives.
Questions: What are some small disciplines that I may undertake in order to grow in love and service of God? How can these disciplines prepare my heart to encounter Christ in my daily life?